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From Aconite to the Zodiac Killer: The Dictionary of Crime

Amanda Lees

14 Reviews

Rated 0

True crime, Crime & mystery

An essential popular A-Z reference guide for fans of crime fiction and true crime, in books, TV and film, helping to make sense of everything from asphyxiation to VX nerve agent.

This is an indispensable guide for fans of true crime and crime fiction, whether in books, film or on TV, who want to look behind the crime, to understand the mechanics of an investigation, to walk in their favourite detectives' shoes and, most importantly, to solve the clues.

To do that, one needs to be fluent in the language of the world of crime. We need to know what that world-weary DI is talking about when she refers to another MISPER. We have to immediately grasp the significance of the presence of paraquat, and precisely why it is still a poison of choice.

If you want to know how many murders it takes for a killer to be defined as a serial killer, what Philip Marlowe means when he talks about being 'on a confidential lay' and why the 'fruit of a poisonous tree' is a legal term rather than something you should avoid on a country walk, this is the reference book you've been waiting for.

It covers police and procedural terms and jargon of many different countries; acronyms; murder methods; criminal definitions, including different types of killers; infamous killers and famous detectives; notorious cases often referred to in crime fiction and true crime; gangster slang, including that of the Eastern European mafia; definitions of illegal drugs; weapons; forensic terminology; types of poisons; words and phrases used in major crime genres, including detective fiction, legal thrillers, courtroom dramas, hardboiled crime, Scandi and Tartan Noir, cosy crime and psychological thrillers; criminology terms; and the language of the courts and the legal systems of British, American, French, Nordic and other countries.

FROM ACONITE TO THE ZODIAC KILLER is an essential, go-to resource for readers and even for writers of crime fiction. More than simply a glossary, this is a guide that provides a doorway into a supergenre, and one that is not just for readers, but also for the many fans of film and TV dramas, of podcasts, and crime blogs. It is also an indispensable resource for writers or would-be writers of crime fiction.

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Praise for From Aconite to the Zodiac Killer: The Dictionary of Crime

  • US gang slang, UK prison slang, spy jargon, acronyms and more - From Aconite to Zodiac Killer: A Dictionary of Crime was perhaps conceived as a useful reference volume where facts could be checked with speed and efficiency (which they can), but I found myself rolling around in it for hours, like a gangster's moll on a bed full of money. Sheer delight!

  • Catriona McPherson

  • Where was this book when I started writing? From Aconite to the Zodiac Killer is the essential companion for any serious reader or writer of crime.

  • A fascinating compendium of crime facts which should be on the shelves of every crime writer - and every crime reader.

  • Praise for the author:

  • Sparklingly funny and painfully sharp throughout. - The Times

  • Praise for the author:

  • A charming turn of phrase that gets you giggling out loud. - Best

  • Praise for the author:

  • Great fun and easy to read. - B magazine

  • Praise for the author:

  • You can guarantee that Amanda Lees's books, like her own life, will never be boring. - Hello

  • Praise for the author:

  • The author succeeds in engaging the reader, both through some page-turning suspense but also via a lightness of touch in the writing. - Lovereading

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